Flowering Shrub Garden, Manchester

The client requested a garden with planting beds to beguile the visitor. The design was conceived around the concept of a thistle abstracted to create beds and paths. The paths running along the leaves and the beds filling the negative space.

The central bed represents the flower and is planted with purple flowering perennials and shrubs, the thistle reveals itself slowly throughout the growing season. It’s final showing is that of Aster novae-angliae Purple Dome ensuring the thistle is at its purplest just before the end of the season, after which it dies back to return the next year mimicking natural processes.

The initial design set the beds at ground level but were raised, after close consultation with the client and consideration for the recently installed drainage. The decision to use re-claimed granite setts for the edges was made improving longevity and sustainability, purchased from a yard 12 miles away, that had received them from less than 20 miles away, they are hyper local.

This adjustment to the design added to the sense of mystery as it raised the planting height by approximately 200mm. Viewed from various angles the plants hide some of the paths creating the intrigue the client requested.

The Brief and Design Process

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